Thank You, Athens: A Letter from a Recent Graduate

Dear Athens,

As a recent graduate of Ohio University, my time reflecting about my time spent in Athens includes feelings of gratitude and accomplishment. Upon the recent graduation ceremonies, us new alumni eagerly enter the next chapter of our lives. Before embarking on my journey into post grad life, I wanted to take some time to thank the city that will always be a part of me. This one is for you, Athens.

Endless Adventures

From freshman year up until my last days as a senior, I could always count on Athens to provide new adventures. Canoeing on Dow Lake, hiking the trails at Strouds Run State Park, cheering on the Bobcats in Peden Stadium, or exploring the historic sites around town… Athens never disappointed for the everyday adventure seeker. Athens, thank you for serving as the place that gave the saying “adventure is out there” a whole new meaning.

Friends and Fests

Athens, thank you for giving me the gift of friendship. The people I met throughout my time in this city challenged me to think and live differently. Whether it was by learning more about sustainable living or understanding the importance of arts and culture, the uniquely Athens residents molded me into a better version of myself.

I also need to thank Athens for teaching me the art of celebration. My love for music grew at The Nelsonville Music Festival. My interest in a special fruit flourished at the PawPaw Festival. Celebrating music or celebrating food, Athens knows how to cultivate the arts.

Foodie Favorites

Speaking to any graduate of Ohio University, I am always reminded of the many extraordinary restaurants and famous foods of Athens that leave impressions on the taste buds. Athens, thank you for fashioning me into a “foodie.” The 30 Mile Meal initiative sparked my love for locally grown food. The Farmer’s Market taught me buying local can be inexpensive and beneficial.

From now on, I will compare every hot dog I eat to O’Betty’s. With every house margarita I sip, I will be wishing it was from Casa. The cupcakes I bake won’t live up to those I devoured from Fluff Bakery. Athens will always and forever be a destination for any food enthusiast.

Athens equipped me for my future. The lifelong memories made and essential lessons learned shaped me into an individual ready to take on life. While some people are blessed to call Athens home their whole lives, I am blessed and grateful to know that Athens serves as a forever home for us Bobcats.

So, thank you for everything, Athens!

From,

All of us who call Athens home

Tell me why you’re thankful for Athens! Tweet me @courtneyspiess or email me at cspiess@athensohio.com.